Most cities and large towns now have juggling clubs. These are often based within, or connected to, universities and colleges. There are also community circus groups that teach young people and put on shows. The Juggling Edge maintains a searchable database of most juggling clubs.
The world's jugglers have been around for a long, long time. Ancient images on a tomb in Egypt show people juggling, and there are references to it in writings from China, Ireland and Rome. Some jugglers were even punished and suspected of being witches! But it's well known that juggling was popular again during Renaissance times - when jokers would entertain the royal court!
Since the 1980s, a juggling culture has developed. The scene revolves around local clubs and organizations, special events, shows, magazines, web sites, internet forums and, possibly most importantly, juggling conventions.
Juggling is a physical skill, performed by a juggler, involving the manipulation of objects for recreation, entertainment, or sport: "The art of tossing and catching or manipulating objects, keeping them in constant motion." The most recognizable form of juggling is toss juggling. Juggling can be the manipulation of one object or many objects at the same time, using one or many hands. Jugglers often refer to the objects they juggle as props. The most common props are balls, clubs, or rings. Some jugglers use more dramatic objects such as knives, fire torches or chainsaws. The term juggling can also commonly refer to other prop-based manipulation skills, such as diabolo, devil sticks, poi, cigar boxes, contact juggling, hooping, and hat manipulation.
The earliest record of juggling is suggested in a panel from the 15th Beni Hasan tomb of an unknown prince, showing female dancers and acrobats throwing balls. Juggling has been recorded in many early cultures including Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Greek, Roman, Norse, Aztec (Mexico) and Polynesian civilizations.